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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: English, German

Where did the English Gardner family come from? What is the English Gardner family crest and coat of arms? When did the Gardner family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Gardner family history?

The history of the name Gardner dates back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It is derived from a member of the family who worked as a gardener. The surname Gardner originally derived from the Old French word gardinier. It was later adopted in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. Occupational names that were derived from the common trades of the medieval era transcended European cultural and linguistic boundaries. Occupational names have remained fairly common in the modern period. This is attested to by the continuing appearance of occupational suffixes at the end of many English surnames. Some of these suffixes include: herd, monger, maker, hewer, smith, and wright. Similarly, surnames of office, which include military, judicial, papal and other positions of authority, are widespread throughout Europe. Those who were involved in the military, or feudal armies, were given names such as the English surname Archer, the French name Chevalier and the German name Jeger, which means hunter. Names that were derived from judicial and papal titles, such asBailiffe, Squire and Abbott, are still commonly seen with the same surname spelling today.


Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Gardner has undergone many spelling variations, including Gardiner, Gardner and others.

First found in Oxfordshire where they held a family seat from very early times. Early records show William le Gardinier in county Rutland in 1199; William Gardin, listed in the Curia Regis Rolls of Huntingdon in 1218, John atte Gardyne, listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in 1296; and Walter le Gardiner listed in the Subsidy Rolls for London in 1292.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gardner research. Another 171 words(12 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1300, 1370, 1426, 1454, 1545, 1493, 1555, 1531, 1478, 1591, 1662, 1640, 1592, 1674, 1624, 1599, 1663, 1635, 1637, 1705, 1695, 1705, 1604 and are included under the topic Early Gardner History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 241 words(17 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gardner Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Gardner family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 187 words(13 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Gardner were among those contributors:

Gardner Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Thomas Gardner, who landed in Massachusetts in 1624
  • Henry Gardner, who arrived in New England in 1631
  • Lyon Gardner, aged 36, arrived in America in 1635
  • Ann Gardner, aged 36, landed in Barbados in 1635
  • Arm Gardner, aged 36, landed in Barbados in 1635

Gardner Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Jasper Gardner, who arrived in Virginia in 1701
  • Peeter Gardner, who landed in New York in 1709
  • Ringing Gardner, who landed in Virginia in 1711
  • Rachel Gardner, who arrived in Virginia in 1714
  • Thoda Gardner, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1718

Gardner Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Thos Gardner, who landed in America in 1804
  • Elizabeth Gardner, who landed in New York, NY in 1815
  • Eleanor Gardner, who landed in New York, NY in 1815
  • Debarah Gardner, who arrived in New York, NY in 1815
  • Deborah Gardner, who arrived in New York, NY in 1815


  • Isabella Stewart Gardner (1840-1924), American art collector, philanthropist, and patron of the arts
  • Ava Lavinia Gardner (1922-1990), American film actress listed as one of the American Film Institute's greatest stars of all time
  • Dale Allen Gardner (1948-2014), American former NASA astronaut who flew two missions in the early 1980s and logged over 14 days in space
  • John Champlin Gardner Jr. (1933-1982), American novelist and university professor
  • Erle Stanley Gardner (1889-1970), American mystery writer, creator of Perry Mason
  • Henry Joseph Gardner (1819-1892), American politician, Governor of Massachusetts (1855-1858)
  • Anthony William Gardner (1820-1885), American who became the 9th President of Liberia (1878-1883)
  • Herbert George "Herb" Gardner (1934-2003), American commercial artist, cartoonist, playwright, and screenwriter
  • Oliver Max Gardner (1882-1947), American politician, governor of North Carolina (1929-1933)
  • John William Gardner (1912-2002), American Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare under President Lyndon Johnson, President of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom



  • The Ancestors and Descendants of Henry Wood Gardner and Mary Brown Rathbone by Ellen Gardner Brown.
  • Gardner and Allied Families: Brown, Carson, Clyburn, Du Pont, Guerri, Guild, Ingram, Knight, Michau, Ogburn, Plyler, Rembert, Wells, Welsh by William Leonard Gardner.

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  1. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  2. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  3. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  4. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  5. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  6. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  7. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  8. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  9. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  10. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  11. ...

The Gardner Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Gardner Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 19 October 2014 at 16:38.

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